Petroleum marketing companies admit to keeping gas prices high
Petroleum marketing companies have admitted to not passing on the full reduction in gasolene prices to consumers because they were trying to recover past losses.
The entities made the admission during an emergency meeting called yesterday by Energy Minister Phillip Paulwell.
Paulwell called the meeting over concerns that local gas prices are not reflecting the massive fall in world prices.
Eleven marketing companies, representing more than 90 per cent of the local market, attended.
Following the meeting, the Energy Ministry said the companies committed to pass on the full reduction of the weekly refinery-billing prices to their retailers as of today.
This should allow for customers to get a further break in the price of fuel.
Communications specialist at the Energy Ministry, Allan Brooks, says the marketing companies explained that in the past when the prices soared, the full increases were not reflected in the prices at the pump.
The companies reportedly said they had to absorb some of the increases in order to remain competitive.
However, the companies are said to have unanimously agreed to pass on the full benefits of current reductions starting today.
The Energy Ministry said others have even indicated that they have been passing on the full reductions since last week.
Paulwell has insisted that the marketing companies must be fair.
He is urging consumers to record the prices displayed at the petrol pumps and compare them with the reduced prices announced by Petrojam.
Over the past three to four months, world oil prices have been falling, moving from in excess of US$110 a barrel to US$55 per barrel.
WATCH: THE GLEANER MINUTE